But it’s far too painful to hear.
- So Friend A’s brain goes into High Gear to defend A’s self-integrity: Friend A values loyalty, kindness, and caring in a friendship. It sure doesn’t seem that Friend B values the same.
Just who IS this Friend B?
- Suddenly, Friend B looks not so much like a friend, after all. And suddenly, Friend A finds they cannot resist thoughts of comparison to Friend C. What makes Friend C more interesting to Friend B? Is there something about Friend A that’s not as good as Friend C?
- Other emotions start to bubble up in Friend A: envy, anger, sadness… it becomes a confusing, painful, even disorienting personal mess. And deep inside, fueling this growing fire, the critical inner voice whispers: You’re not good enough.
Reasons you may feel so jealous
It’s simple — if you feel or think you’re not-quite-as-good-as someone else, you might feel more insecure than usual. And our tolerance levels for our own insecurity — that is, how much we “can take” — can be quite different. Our example with Friends A, B, and C demonstrates this well.
Obsessive or Paranoid Thinking:
Some people genuinely have a very hard time putting their mind to rest about all kinds of things. If situations or relationships around them become a little uncertain, their minds go into over-drive to find the missing puzzle pieces. And some people experience a sense of persecution (sometimes it’s mild and other times it’s severe) throughout their lives, in all kinds of settings and relationships.
An example: Student A was at the top of his class in first semester, and the teacher frequently remarked out loud in class about how the student really knew his stuff. Then classes and other activities became overwhelming for Student A. When his grades started slipping, the teacher began directing those positive remarks toward Student B, who was now the new class leader. Now, instead of focusing on schoolwork, Student A’s mental wheels were constantly spinning, trying to figure out just what Student B was up to: Was B bringing gifts to the teacher? Were there after-class consultations going on? Why would the teacher suddenly turn against Student A like that?
You might experience jealousy because someone really has done something to betray you or treated you unjustly. It happens! In such cases, jealous thoughts or feelings might be a warning from your own innate center of self-preservation wisdom.
The next important question is:
What are you going to do about it?